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ProPublica

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by PeteyPirate, Jun 5, 2008.

  1. PeteyPirate

    PeteyPirate Guest

    ProPublica, a non-profit investigative news organization, is putting together a dream team of such reporters. They're going to make their stories available for free on their site and for re-publication in other media. Do you think newspapers will run ProPublica's stories? Will this work?
     
  2. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    I don't think so. Newspapers do investigative work to win awards. How many times do you see them reprint investigative work by other papers from the supplemental wires such as NYT, McClatchy, etc.?
     
  3. slowcenter

    slowcenter Member

    I'll defer to Frank's demonstrated experience and long-term knowledge of this business. However, the way newspapers are cutting back their own in-depth news coverage, including investigative reporting, they may eventually have to run the ProPublica stuff out of necessity.
     
  4. Joe Williams

    Joe Williams Active Member

    Next step: ProPublica sends out squads of its dream team reporters to various markets on a "consulting" basis, to do the investigative journalism for the cheap and dying metro newspaper. Paying a one-time fee, even a hefty one, for a big expose is more appealing to the downsized newsroom than keeping (and paying) your own diggers on staff.
     
  5. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    I had an idea for a news project and the metro editor said, "You never know with these things, whether we can get them or not. Sometimes you dig for a couple months and you never get it. But we'll take the gamble." I thought that was maybe the best verbalization of it.

    The guy who founded the city mag in Denver, 5280, said it a couple years ago, that every time the revenue increased he wanted to hire more full-timers because freelancers can't afford to dig for a couple months without payoff. They had to pick stories that were low-risk or they'd starve. With full-timers, the publication takes the financial risk.

    That's why I don't see that they're going to be able to do a lot of stories that aren't of national interest. It's sooo risky and expensive to get the really good stuff. I don't see that they can do it cheaper than the local papers when you average in all the fails.
     
  6. PeteyPirate

    PeteyPirate Guest

    I think that's the whole point, to do stories of national interest. And this venture doesn't have revenue. It's funded entirely by philanthropy. They're not selling anything.
     
  7. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    I was responding to Joe's post.
     
  8. STLIrish

    STLIrish Active Member

    Yeah, I'd think they'll be swinging for big national stories. Maybe the NYT and Washington Post won't pick those up, but everyone else will.
    Makes more sense, really, to have your projects/investigative types (if you still have them) doing local work, anyway. B/c nobody else is going to.
     
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